THE INHERITANCE - Reviews

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#51
Posted: 11/19/19 at 5:07pm

raddersons said: "Does a show have to be important to be good? "

Of course not! I'm of the mind that Broadway could actually stand to use more frivolity from its plays- new American plays tend to be Important. 

And The Inheritance definitely presents itself as an Important Work. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#52
Posted: 11/19/19 at 5:25pm

raddersons said: "Does a show have to be important to be good? A few of my friendssaid it was very relateable and that's why they enjoyed it so much. I do think the marketing does make youthink it's a "message" type show overa character driven one."

Of course a play doesn’t have to be important to be good. A play like Noises Off has absolutely nothing “important” about it, and yet it is immensely enjoyable.

The problem is that The Inheritance wears its self-proclaimed importance not just on its sleeve, but on its face, its chest, and on top of its head. It flaunts it like a fancy new outfit.

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#53
Posted: 11/19/19 at 10:21pm

First of all, the acting was superb. The story line was good- nothing particularly deep- easy to understand- and very relatable. It was a story of a bunch of gay men dealing with issues we all- of a certain age- dealt with in the eighties- and its legacies live on. Let's not make more of this show than it is- but also lets not dismiss it because it is not Shakespeare.

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#54
Posted: 11/19/19 at 11:09pm
But it’s not a “bunch of gay men.” It’s a very specific group.
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#55
Posted: 11/19/19 at 11:15pm

Overhyped and indulgent. They tried to convince us that this was the most important play of this century. Really? I don’t think so. Why 6.5 hours? And let’s face it. Those numbers from last week are down right awful. Even for a preview week. The reviews won’t help. They were mediocre. 

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#56
Posted: 11/20/19 at 2:42am

But it’s not a “bunch of gay men.” It’s a very specific group.

Okay, a very specific bunch of gay men.

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#57
Posted: 11/20/19 at 3:03am

The comments accompanying the NY Times review are well worth the read. I thought the article in The New Yorker a few weeks ago was well written BTW.

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#58
Posted: 11/20/19 at 7:20am

The NYTimes reviews are interesting. There's a fair share of "It's too long so I hate it" but there are also some nuanced critiques. The people who give it flat out raves seem to see themselves in the characters. "It made me think of my friends," "It made me think of my youth," and so forth. Reliving those memories in an audience full of gay men has a different resonance than watching this on Netflix in two years would.

I'm neither pretty nor wealthy. I saw myself in the characters uglier sides. Toby's self-loathing. Henry's self-isolation. Jasper's destructive self-righteousness. Eric's self-vicitmization. I felt like the play really wanted me to like Eric but never truly called him out on his manipulative behavior. Thus the play stirred up a lot of feelings but left me sadder at the end than the hopeful ending intended me to. I'm glad I saw it but I'd give it a B. Not the A+ or F- that the stronger comments do.

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#59
Posted: 11/20/19 at 7:40am

MrsSallyAdams said: "The people who give it flat out raves seem to see themselves in the characters.

YES. Not just on these boards, too. When I talk to people about the show, I hesitate even longer than I normally would before giving my opinion because those that like seem to respond from a place of identity, seeing themselves, feeling seen. And I don't believe in raining on that. Good for them. But very quickly while watching, I started wondering where the rest of New York was in this play, the rest of the community. And I couldn't get around just how pretty, white and wealthy it all was. (And if someone wasn't wealthy, they were gorgeous and white and in a scene taking place in an opulently wealthy space.) There's nothing inherently wrong about this. I mean, I happen to be sick of it in gay plays, but also, not every play has to be all things to all people. But it's strange when people say it represents the community today and don't notice this.

ColorThe Hours048: "The problem is that The Inheritance wears its self-proclaimed importance not just on its sleeve, but on its face, its chest, and on top of its head. It flaunts it like a fancy new outfit."

Exactly! It's one thing to have hype, and another for a marketing team to work to create it. But then, the whole play and production plays with a self conscious self-importance that my anti-hype knee-jerk response, which I usually try to quiet, kicked in halfway through the first scene!

Updated On: 11/20/19 at 07:40 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#60
Posted: 11/20/19 at 8:31am
Updated On: 11/22/19 at 08:31 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#61
Posted: 11/20/19 at 8:41am

Miles2Go2 said: "Popularity doesn’t always equal quality."

yes

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#62
Posted: 11/20/19 at 8:53am

clever2 said: "I was hoping the play would...I was hoping to see people...I would have liked to see the privileged aesthetic...I would like that shown to us honestly...I was hoping men perceived as shallow...I was hoping men perceived as deep...

I was hoping for a story that shows us...I was hoping for that play....

I wanted a play about us....I wanted a play I would learn from...I wanted the play to look seriously...I wanted a play with room...

I wanted that play. I believe a lot of people wanted that play...That’s the play I was hoping to see.
"

My goodness, that sure is a lot hoping and wanting to heap onto someone else's creation. I don't mean to be unkind, but it sounds like the only way you might've been satisfied is if you'd written your own play.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Updated On: 11/20/19 at 08:53 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#63
Posted: 11/20/19 at 8:55am

Clever2 said: The Howards End conceit? F*CK it

This right there sums up the plays biggest difficulty. Lopez has talked in every interview about how passionately he feels about the novel. But he never gives the audience a reason to feel the same. Howard's End is primarily about a small group of privileged, wealthy, unpleasant people. I don't see the possibilities in it that Lopez does. It feels like the conceit is holding back the play's more interesting ideas. 

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#64
Posted: 11/20/19 at 8:57am
Updated On: 11/22/19 at 08:57 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#65
Posted: 11/20/19 at 9:17am

The play is kind of like a Desperate Housewives, Gay 2.0.  I did not see myself in it- but it is not necessarily that kind of work. I think people are looking at HBO-level drama- and wanting Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky. That is not what this is. But a good HBO-level drama ain't all that bad. Perhaps the two part length of the play is the problem. It could have been whittled down to one three hour production and it would not have suffered. I am looking forward to the next big thing- The Lehman Trilogy- which also got amazing reviews and for which I do have high expectations.

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#66
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:05am

clever2 said: "Really. Truly. Stop. I’m asking you to stop. You are harassing me. Stop."

I have not harassed you any more than you have harassed me, and I'm sorry you feel that way. This thread is devoted to reviews of The Inheritance, and I merely responded to the lengthy list of disappointments you claimed to have experienced when you saw the show. When I challenged the validity of your expectations of the play, you got defensive (you referred to me as "pal", which I believe most would view as smart and condescending, and you said that I "obviously have no idea how commercial theatre works" ). You then went on to suggest that you've written the play which you feel Mr. Lopez should've written ("Who's to say I haven't done better?" ), which contradicted your earlier post ("That play can’t be written" ).

If you are unwilling (or unable) to defend your views of a show, perhaps it is not a good idea to post them to a public forum.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Updated On: 11/20/19 at 10:05 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#67
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:09am
Updated On: 11/22/19 at 10:09 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#68
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:13am

clever2 said: "Stop talking to me."

I'm confused; why are you talking to me?

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#69
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:13am
Updated On: 11/22/19 at 10:13 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#70
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:15am
Updated On: 11/22/19 at 10:15 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#71
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:18am

clever2 said: "You are not interested in having a conversation. You were interested in attacking and belittling. I wrote about ideas and hopes for what a self proclaimed gay epic about all homosexuals should be. Which the inheritance is not. It is not what it purports itself to be. It is a lie. Stop talking to me."

And you're STILL talking to me?

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#72
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:50am

BWAY Baby2 said: "Perhaps the two part length of the play is the problem. It could have been whittled down to one three hour production and it would not have suffered."

I agree. Part 1 is 3 hours and 15 minutes. Part 2 is 3 hours and 10 minutes. It did so well in London that I think the creatives were hesitant to change it too much when it transferred to Broadway. I think it would have fared better had it transferred to off-broadway first, see what the NYC audience reaction was like, then transfer to Broadway with some cuts to improve the play. 

Personally, I don't think the nudity scene was needed in Part 1. Angels had nudity but I felt it was important for Joe Pitt to do that in that particular scene given his beliefs.

Here's a review by Marilyn Stasio on Variety: https://variety.com/2019/legit/reviews/the-inheritance-review-broadway-1203406810/  

 

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#73
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:55am

I saw the show the first time they did Part I and II back to back in October.  It has taken me this long to get my head around it.  So, sorry in advance for the rambling.  I have never posted on this board before so I’m praying I won’t get roasted. LOL. 

Part I has some simply stunning moments.  Walter's monologue and the end of the third act in particular.  The staging is spectacular in its effective simplicity.  But I think it is more about the staging than the writing.  Yes, the monologue is effective, but would it have been as affecting without the staging?  As heartbreaking as the end of Part I was, I was sobbing and couldn't move from my seat, isn't it too similar to "Longtime Companion"?  I will say though, it is one of the most moving moments in any play I have seen in my theatre going life.

Part II never really reached the emotional heights of Part I, in my opinion.  It seemed to be unnecessarily long.  It could have gotten to the point it was trying to make in a three act play, honestly.  And been better for it.  Mind you, I was never bored.  But again, Daldrey’s staging kept it moving at a very brisk pace. 

As a gay man living in a small town, the show was very elitist.  Lopez seemed to be talking only to a certain demographic of gay men:  "NYC gays are so cool and upwardly mobile!"  We get it!  Therein lies one of my biggest problems, I didn't really bond with any of the characters.  Maybe Eric?  When they are all together taking about how much the city has changed:  Splash bar, etc. I would be in misery if I was at a party with these men and their pretentious conversations:  Ravel?? Come on! Ugh!  It was almost as if Lopez was saying, "I am part of this elite clique and look how cool I am!"   This creates a distance between the characters and the audience.  A very big gap. 

As good as the actors are, the biggest slap in the face is that out of the company, the majority of the actors are straight.  Especially the leads.  Only Hickey is a gay man out of the 5 main characters:  Soller, Burnap, Levine and Hilton are all straight.  If Lopez is "preaching to/teaching" the audience about the history of gay men what kind of reference do these actors have?  Ryan Murphy's revival of "Boys in the Band" was publicized heavily that each of the actors were gay.  There is a knowledge there.  An understanding.  An actual history.  I can't believe this hasn't been more of a talking point.  I understand that all actors can play any number of characters, blah, blah, blah and shouldn't be typecast, BUT!  Don't get me wrong, the acting was terrific, I am taking away nothing from their work.  It is just an ethical point to me.  Lopez constantly reminds us about our history and understanding, but how can these actors even imagine what it is like to walk in our shoes?  Shouldn't the casting process be about authenticity with a play like this?  The "gay play of the decade" and the majority of the actors are straight?  I might in the minority here, but it was insulting to me.  

  

Updated On: 11/20/19 at 10:55 AM
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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#74
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:56am

clever2 said: "Before I knew anything, before I saw it, I was hoping the play would..."

Sounds like you had built up so much of what you thought, hoped, and expected it to be, that your only path was disappointment?

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THE INHERITANCE - Reviews#75
Posted: 11/20/19 at 10:57am
Updated On: 11/20/19 at 10:57 AM

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